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Thursday, August 11, 2005
The infestation was not discovered until a couple of weeks later because the theater was closed for the summer.
"It was like, 'Eww, what's that?'" Lizenbery said.
Emma Kennedy of UH-Manoa's Environmental Health and Safety office said the dark and humid conditions in the theater probably caused the mold's growth.
She said mold can trigger reactions in people who have asthma, are allergic to mold or whose immune systems are compromised.
But she said the main reason the theater is being shut down is that the cleanup will take about five weeks.
Mold cleanup is similar to asbestos removal, Kennedy said. Special vacuum cleaners and machines to clear air will be brought in, and the walls and floors will be disinfected. The carpet and seats should not have to be replaced, she said.
The cleanup should be completed in time for rehearsals to begin for the next scheduled production of the play "Battle of Will" in October.
Other areas of the Kennedy Theatre complex have been inspected and are mold-free, the university said.
Productions in the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre will proceed as scheduled. Some UH classes that use the theater will be relocated when school resumes Aug. 22.
Arrangements are being made for smaller productions to help students who needed the play to graduate with a children's-theater degree, Lizenbery said.
He said the department will lose about $25,000 from lost ticket sales. Children's plays are usually very popular, he added.
The department is hoping to produce the show as its opening production next year. But that might be too late for Katasse, who could graduate this summer.
It is also too late for Robert Wyllie, a senior, whose design for the sets with partner Ulu Mills was selected in a competition during a set design class last year.
"We worked all semester," Wyllie said. "I'm an actor. I don't usually do this kind of stuff (design sets). It was literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."